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9 signs you're a problem employee and don't even know it


By Richard Feloni, Áine Cain and Shana Lebowitz, Business Insider

  • It's not always easy to judge your own performance at work.
  • In fact, sometimes, you might be underperforming and not even realize it.
  • Signs you're the office nuisance include constantly making excuses and being convinced you're smarter than everyone else you work with.
  • If several of these subtle signs that you're a subpar employee apply to you, consider moving to a role that's a better fit for you.

Some employees are better than others, but what if you're the problem worker in your office?

Being a terrible employee doesn't mean that you're bad, lazy, or even unable to succeed professionally. You could be a bad culture fit for the company. Your disposition may not jibe with your boss' style. Maybe you're just in the wrong industry.

If you feel that you're not doing a good job, then it's important to consider why and then take steps to rectify the situation.

Before you can do that, though, you've got to be able to determine whether or not you are a bad worker.


You're not punctual


Whether you're forgetting about important deadlines, barging into meetings late, or crawling into work at random hours, habitual tardiness tells everyone that you simply don't respect their valuable time.


You constantly make excuses


There's a Latin saying that pretty much sums this one up: "Excusatio non petita accusatio manifesta." It roughly translates to "he who excuses himself, accuses himself." Don't rely on excuses to justify your incompetence.


You do the bare minimum


You're just scraping by. You do enough to avoid getting fired and that's it. If your boss asks you to handle something remotely challenging, you react with exasperation. You're not fooling anyone with this act - you risk ruining your reputation with your abysmal work ethic.


You love to gossip


Not all gossip is bad. Nonetheless, when it comes to the petty, mean-spirited gab, stay away from the rumor mill - it'll hurt only your reputation.


You're convinced you're smarter than everyone else


It's good to have confidence (and you might be very intelligent in some areas), but no one wants to work with an arrogant colleague. You don't have to dumb your smarts down - just get over yourself a bit.


You don't believe in your company's mission or values


You think your company's goals are dumb. You think your organization's CEO is stupid.

Maybe you're right. But if you're truly unimpressed with your company, then instead of wasting your time on snark, you should start looking for other work.


You're noticeably less productive than your colleagues


Are all your coworkers super-talented wonder workers? Probably not. You might just be a cut under everyone else.


You're always looking for a way out


You're watching the clock until you're able to leave at the end of the day. You shirk responsibility at every opportunity. You don't care enough to push yourself. In the end, you're simply not committed to your job.


You don't get along with anyone at the company


Yes, it's possible that everyone at your organization is terrible. But have you ever considered that you might be the problem?



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